The fat guy is writing his last Our Corner column for The Courier-Herald.
After five-and-a-half years, my time at the newspaper has came to a close.
Those years covering Bonney Lake and the last year when I covered Sumner have been some of the best years of my life, and personally, the last has been one of the worst.
The publisher of The Courier-Herald, Bill Marcum, and Editor Kevin Hanson hired me in October of 2003, and along with Teresa McCallion, we began publishing The Bonney Lake Courier-Herald. For the next nearly six years the community surrounding Lake Tapps became my second family. From Lake Tapps water rights, a contentious mayor’s race, baseball, football, basketball, those gymnastic girls, track – I cannot count all the stories and the people. If I even began to start listing names the column would fill the paper.
Let me say the folks of Bonney Lake and Sumner are the most interesting, intriguing, quirky and plain fun people I have ever covered as a journalist or known personally.
The best stories I have ever written came from my years on this paper.
The decision to leave did not come easily. I was offered the opportunity to become the editor of the Covington/Maple Valley Reporter. I had a very short time to make the decision. I knew it was time. The paper was established and
I felt Dannie Oliveaux was more than capable of taking over the coverage. The Courier-Herald is very fortunate to have him.
Heading to my office in Maple Valley means leaving the best newsroom and best staff I have ever known. Marcum is hands down the top publisher in the business and I am fortunate to have him in Maple Valley with me.
Hanson is not only a good friend and cohort in daily battle of food, he is the finest editor one could find.
For all of us who know Brenda Sexton in Enumclaw, she is the jewel of this town. Never let her leave.
Mr. Sports, John Leggett, is the single best advocate for hometown sports and, as the king of Pop Tarts, he is forever my food hero.
Chaz Holmes will become the voice of Sumner and Dannie will do all for Bonney Lake I left undone, and more.
There are many people on the staff whose names are not in the bylines, but the production staff, circulation, the front desk staff and sales make these papers what they are.
I must take the time to explain the worst.
As some of you know, my wife, Ginny, passed away May 16, 2008. It was the worst time of my life.
I would like to thank all who came and helped my family and me during her passing.
I never did what I was supposed to, which was send out thank-you cards. I know Ginny is mad at me, and I will get yelled at once again some day. She would have had those cards sent out within the month.
I looked at the cards on the table, and looked at them, and moved them around and never did it. Ginny’s mad, but I’m used to being in trouble. I can hardly wait.
So in this feeble attempt to get out of trouble, let me thank the many folks who made meals for us, talked to me, told me their stories, listened to my droning and understood, because in time, it comes to us all.
Let me also thank the Bonney Lake Police Department, the best and the brightest, who gave me a home during my darkest time.
The stories in our papers are of the people, politicians and volunteers who make up the fabric of our communities. There is no better place.